The brand refused to call its product a soap for 40 years and insisted that it was something entirely new. This hints that it could have tried to be a pioneer in a new category of the health and beauty sector thus aiming for central positioning. Nevertheless, the brand was considered by the target market as soap with a unique value proposition, I. E. Allowing oneself to clean the skin without drying out. Thus, it was positioned differentiated offering a unique benefit In an existing product category that allowed It to be distinguished from other brands.
Dove chose a product-as-hero positioning with regard to other brands. The marketing campaign pronounced the functional benefits f the product, Illustrating how the attribute that differentiated Dove from other competitors (cleansing cream) was added to the soap. The brand provided two main benefits to the consumer: cleaning and moisturizing. While cleaning is the primary benefit that triggers action by a consumer (“realizing dirtiness / need to clean”l moisturizing Is a secondary benefit that sets Dove apart from competitors and addresses an existing problem in the sub-category of soap bars.
The need to clean oneself while not drying out Is deliverable by Dove as indicated In the marketing campaign due to the product attribute of 25% cleansing cream. Finally, the uniqueness of the brand is purely defined by the moisturizing effect. The Dove campaign for Its beauty bar put a strong focus on the benefit of Its products. With respect to the a-b-e model, a combination of dab and e- b was chosen to stress the key benefit of not drying the skin when using the soap to clean oneself.
Illustrating the attribute of added cream to the product Is used to support this benefit (AC]b). This is communicated in the second part of the main message of the campaign (“Dove soap doses ‘t dry your skin because it’s one quarter cleansing cream”). Furthermore, he negative emotion attached to having dry skin when using traditional soap bars Is addressed in the first part of the campaign message. The negative emotion attached to dry skin is dispelled with the benefit of the Dove soap (e- b).
Mastermind era When Milliner decided that Dove would become a Mastermind, one thing that product. As a Mastermind, many different brands with differing product attributes were combined under the umbrella of Dove. Thus, focusing on a single functional product benefit was no longer possible as there were many different ones and Dove changed to representing a general point of view. This point of view would be developed with the campaign for real beauty. The brand was positioned as differentiated once again in the health and beauty sector.
This time however, it did not do so based on a unique product feature but rather based on their point of view on beauty which was vastly different from the rest of beauty brands in the industry. While the beauty industry traditionally presented an unattainable stereotypical image of beauty in marketing campaigns (young, white, blonde, thin) Dove chose to start a campaign addressing all the women that had problems with their self-esteem as they did not feel beautiful.
Dove started to develop marketing campaigns using more realistic women with different shapes, sizes, ethnicities and age groups. This change from aspiration to reality was the aspect of the brand that differentiated it within the product category. As a Mastermind, Dove no longer pursued a product- as-hero positioning due to the already mentioned fact that it combined a large variety of products with different benefits. It rather decided to choose a user-as-hero positioning placing their target market at the center of the campaign.
The feelings of women having problems with low self-esteem were central to the marketing strategy ND many different customers were portrayed in different parts of the campaign (Tick-Box, Six real women, Daughter-film, Evolution etc. ). The benefit that the brand was offering was real beauty as it tried to make women feel beautiful that currently din ‘t do so. To the target market this was a highly important benefit as the studies conducted by Dove showed the large percentage of the population that actually faced self-esteem challenges related to beauty.
As it portrayed realistic images of women in their campaigns and how Dove could change how they felt about themselves the rand managed to show that it could actually deliver the benefit of making women feel better about themselves. Finally, as it was the only brand that chose to market this benefit was also unique distinguishing Dove from the traditional approach of beauty brands. Question 2: How was the meaning of the Dove brand controlled in the age of mass media?
How is it controlled in the era of Youths and other interactive media? The use of mass media such as billboards, magazines, radio, television or newspapers allows for a higher level of control over the transported marketing message than the SE of interactive media such as blobs, networks or other internet platforms. During the functional era, Dove communicated the benefit of its products through mass media and was able to exert a high level of control over the meaning of the Dove brand that reached the target market.
It was a one-way communication with Dove transporting the meaning of its brand to the customers and controlling what exactly it wanted the target market to see, hear and associate with the brand. Dove also controlled who would receive the message to a great extent as it knew its target audience as well as its target market and the channels through which it could reach of male-dominated sport such as the Super Bowl since the audience would have had very little in common with the mainly female target market.
When Dove switched to including interactive media into its communication strategy the level of control it had on the meaning that was associated with the brand decreased. With interactive media, the audience exposed to Dove advertising and anything associated with the Dove brand has the possibility of giving immediate feedback to the message. As an example, an advertising film on Youths, such as the Dove “Evolution” ad, can receive instant feedback from anyone who has seen it through commenting and like-button tools.
Thus, anyone viewing the video after feedback has been given will not be exposed to the original and pure marketing message that Dove had communicated with its film. Rather the message received by subsequent viewers will be altered by the feedback of previous ones. This means that one difference from mass media to interactive media is that Dove cannot be sure to transport its originally desired and clean message that it wants to communicate to the target audience about the meaning of the brand.
Thus, advertising had changed from a one-way communication to a two-way communication in which the audience added to the brand meaning that was transported. Furthermore, the use of interactive media can result in a much faster and more extensive spreading of the message than mass media. The people that ultimately get exposed to a marketing campaign could be highly different from the audience that the campaign had been planned for. However, in the case of Dove this loss of control over the receivers of a marketing campaign is not a great problem but rather an advantage.
This is due to the fact that the target audience of the real beauty campaign was a lot larger than the target market. While the market that Dove wanted to tap into and ultimately buy its products did increase to include females of all age groups, shapes and sizes as compared to the more narrow approach from the functional era, the target audience increased to a far greater extent. Dove intended to start a public debate about beauty within all areas of society and thus wanted to reach all people in America with their campaign.
They wanted people to become aware of the self-esteem challenges hat women faced in connection with the unattainable image that the beauty industry tended to portray in advertising. After becoming aware of this problem, Dove wanted the target audience of its campaign to think about and start discussing this issue. Therefore, the fact that the campaign could be spread rapidly with the interactive media used turned out to be a favorable factor as more people would be talking about the self-esteem issue on blobs and social networks.
With respect to this issue it is important to notice that Dove continuously tried to fuel the debate and keep it alive. This was the brand ‘s way to exert a certain level of control over the meaning of Dove. As long as people were talking about the beauty issue they would also be connecting it with the meaning that Dove intended to stand for. Concluding it can be said that overall the level of control that Dove could exert on the meaning that was transported about the brand was significantly lower after the switch to interactive media.
In the functional era Dove fully controlled the meaning of the brand that was transported to the target audience simply through changes in advertising (slogan, images, channels used etc. As the communication was purely adapt to the audience’s feedback to control the original message of the brand while also fueling the beauty debate to raise brand awareness. Question 3: Is the Dove brand “out of control”? Is Dove making “a risky bet”? The strategy of employing interactive media instead of traditional mass media to market the real beauty campaign was undoubtedly risky.
But even though the level of control that Dove can exert over the meaning of its brand that is transported to the audience it is not completely out of control. Dove was able to raise brand awareness to a far rater extent than it could have done through the use of mass media mostly by allowing itself to let go of completely controlling the communicated message and shifting part of it towards the consumer. Of course this was largely helped by the fact that Dove did not simply transport the meaning of its brand but rather start a public debate in society that went beyond the use of Dove products.
It tried to make people think and debate about the meaning of real beauty and shift perception from the unattainable and aspiration beauty image portrayed by the majority of the industry towards real beauty. The key lay in making the audience connect this debate about beauty with the Dove brand. As long as this was the case and as long as the debate would continue to go on the brand had achieved its goal. Thus, it can be said that while the risk was definitely given it was also controllable.
Dove knew the large number of females that had problems with their self-esteem so it knew that it only had to spread the message of real beauty far enough for enough of these women to react to it. The choice to include interactive media was therefore a very reasonable and rational decision as it helped to spread the message farther and more rapidly Han mass media could have done. As Dove knew that there were enough women out there to care about the message that it was sending, the only real risk was that the audience would not believe that the brand was really caring about these women.
Authenticity was the key issue and it was crucial that people believed that Dove was serious in trying to change the way women felt about themselves and their self- esteem problems. In my opinion, Dove did an exceptional Job in communicating the brand ‘s authenticity about the issue and this was the key to the success of the campaign. Whenever there were doubts about the campaign Dove did not retreat from the issue but instead went one step further and communicated the self-esteem challenges of women and the switch from aspiration to reality even in a more pronounced way.
Dove was not afraid of losing the aspiration element and thus the incentive of customers to buy the brand. Instead it answered to the concerns with the highly emotional daughter-film. Dove was also unafraid to communicate its message to the male-dominated Super Bowl audience. It did not assume a defensive position upon meeting criticism and to its campaign from news reporters and nonusers but rather embraced the critique to fuel the beauty debate even further.